North America's Premier Network
of Private Practice Optometrists

Join Us

11 Tips for Eliminating Computer Eye Strain

Do your eyes feel tired, irritated or dry after spending too much time on your computer? If so, you may have Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Man staring intently at a computer screen

If you spend more than two hours a day on a computer, you may have a condition called Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

CVS affects 64% to 90% of all office workers and while it does not cause permanent eye damage, it can be an unpleasant side effect of too much screen time.

CVS symptoms include:

  • Eye strain
  • Redness
  • Iritation or dryness

You may also experience burning eyes, double or blurred vision, headaches and neck or shoulder pain.

If this sounds all too familiar, here are some guidelines and computer eye strain tips to help alleviate these nagging symptoms.

11 Tips for Eliminating Computer Eye Strain

  1. Take a break - Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
  2. Blink frequently - Do not forget to blink periodically. Staring at computer screens can dry our eyes and cause redness and irritation.
  3. Consider computer glasses - Computer glasses are prescription eyewear that are specifically designed for computer work. They allow you to focus your eyes on the distance of a computer screen, which is generally farther away than reading material. Computer glasses optimize your eyesight when you're looking at digital screens and help to reduce glare.
  4. Keep your monitor bright - This reduces the flicker rate of the computer and reduces fatigue. Flickering can lead to eyestrain and headaches. Also, a bright monitor causes your pupil to constrict, which results in a greater range of focus. This reduces the need for your eye to accommodate and enables you to work longer and with more comfort.
  5. Use proper lighting - Use incandescent lighting and avoid high-intensity lamps, which cast shadows and create glare. Place a dim light on either side of your workstation to create equal brightness without dark, shadowed areas.
  6. Check your monitor’s position - The position of your computer monitor can add to your eyestrain. It is important that it be positioned at the proper distance away from your eyes. Optimally, your computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees below eye level (about 4 or 5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20 to 28 inches from the eyes.
  7. Adjust your screen resolution - Make sure your monitor has a high-resolution display. A higher resolution produces sharper type and crisper images, reducing eye strain.
  8. Minimize glare - Clean your monitor regularly to remove dust and consider installing an anti-glare screen. It also helps to keep shades drawn to prevent glare from outside sources.
  9. Try massage or eye cupping - Massaging the area around the eyes will help relax the muscles and can be very comforting. Rub your hands together to create friction and warmth, then gently cup your palms over your closed eyes and rest them.
  10. Take your vitamins - Getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals is important for overall eye health. Opt for vitamins that contain antioxidants and ingredients that help improve the health of the eye and reduce eyestrain, such as vitamins A, C and E with a B complex and Zinc.
  11. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam - Almost 71% of people reporting symptoms of CVS wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, so make sure your prescription is correct! The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that all computer users have an eye exam yearly. Lastly, be sure to tell your eye doctor about your workstation setup and the number of hours each day you spend on electronic devices.

Need an eye doctor? Find a local optometrist or opthamologist who can talk to you about additional factors that may impact your eye comfort while on the computer.

Author Vision Source — Published March 31, 2014

Posted In Eye Health Awareness